Simple Definition of surveillance
: the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime
Full Definition of surveillance
: close watch kept over someone or something (as by a detective); also : supervision
Examples of surveillance in a sentence
government surveillance of suspected terrorists
The bank robbery was recorded by surveillance video cameras.
Origin of surveillance
French, from surveiller to watch over, from sur- + veiller to watch, from Old French veillier, from Latin vigilare, from vigil watchful — more at vigil
First Known Use: 1802
Learn More about surveillance
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "surveillance" Medical Dictionary: Definition of "surveillance" Spanish Central: Translation of "surveillance" Nglish: Translation of "surveillance" for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of "surveillance" for Arabic speakers
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